Decadent Pork Ragu

I’ve made this ragu so many times since I first tried it, about 2 years ago. Its simplicity always deems it a pleasure to make and it’s perfect for a dinner party, as it can feed 6-8. If you have fiddly starters or desserts, this can just be left either in the oven or on the stove until the meat is ready to be lifted out, shredded and returned to the sauce – pretty dandy.

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My boyfriend’s brothers favourite dish, and served up at his birthday meal – worthy of the party hats and celebrations surrounding it (I can say this myself as it’s not my creation), but from The National Gallery of Australia’s Sculpture Garden Restaurant in Canberra.

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Not the cheapest thing to make, but I think worthy of every penny – especially when it’s served up for a dinner party or special celebration.

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Ingredients Serves 6-8

  • 1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 each of onion, leek and celery stalk – finely chopped
  • 350g pancetta, finely diced
  • 150ml Madeira
  • 800g crushed or tinned cherry tomatoes
  • 1 kg boneless pork shoulder, cut in half
  • 200g black Ligurian olives, pitted
  • 30g butter, coarsely chopped
  • 11/2 tbsp marjoram leaves, plus extra to serve
  • 750 dried pasta (rigatoni works well, I used Mafadelle on this occasion)

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If you have a large casserole pan, use the oven and heat to 120°C. If not use a large pan with a lid.

Heat olive oil over a medium heat and add onion, leek and celery. Stir occasionally until tender (7-8 minutes).

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Add pancetta and stir occasionally until golden (6-7 minutes).

Add Madeira, simmer until reduced by half (1-2 minutes).

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Add tinned tomatoes, bring to a simmer, season to taste and then add pork shoulder, cover and braise in the heated oven or on a very low heat on the stove with lid.

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Cook for 3 hours, turning pork over once after 1 ½ hours (about halfway through the cooking time).

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Remove pork and, when cool enough to handle, coarsely shred and set aside.

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Process your cooking liquid in a food processor or with a stick blender (I think easiest option) to a puree then transfer this to a saucepan and simmer over a medium heat for about 10-12 minutes to a thick sauce.

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Stir in shredded pork, olives, butter, marjoram, season to taste and keep warm whilst you cook your paste to al dente. Drain pasta and toss through pork mixture, serve hot scattered with parmesan and extra marjoram leaves.

blogg 11Enjoy!!



18 Comments Add yours

  1. Yana says:

    It sounds just wonderful!

  2. Barbara says:

    I was just looking for something else to do with that pork shoulder besides barbecue. Thanks. This is going on the menu soon.

  3. Barbara says:

    Reblogged this on Kitchen Portfolio and commented:
    Ran across this at the terrific Traveling Pantry. It offers something new to do with that pork shoulder besides the typical pulled pork sandwich. I’ll be making it soon.

  4. katiebonken says:

    Thanks Barbara, there’s nothing like lifting the meat from it’s cooking liquid-it literally falls apart, exactly what is deserved after waiting for it to cook!

  5. Pork shoulder is one of my favourite cuts of meat and slow cooking is perfect for it. Yum!

  6. Maria says:

    This looks amazing! Thank you so much for the recipe, I think my husband will love it. 🙂 We frequent a restaurant and he always orders different types of ragu, but I’ve never come across a recipe. So, I think this will be one of our dinners next week. Yum!

    xo, Maria

  7. Sounds fabulous, the Sculpture Garden restaurant does have great food, or did, I haven’t been there in a while. I’ll have to try this while the weather is still cool enough…

    1. katiebonken says:

      I’ve never been myself, this recipe was from the restaurant and featured in Gourmet Traveller, which I found years ago…..but have noticed that it’s been re-printed a few times since. Yes, definitely more of a chilly weather dish! Hope you try it.

  8. That is the business! My mouth is literally watering. Effing love it! Great pics too 🙂

    1. katiebonken says:

      Brilliant comment, as always! Thanks

  9. Simon says:

    The seems like it makes for fantastic weekend comfort food! Just have to track down the malfadelle pasta…

    1. katiebonken says:

      Thanks. That’s it, I’d suggest using a rigatoni, which works really well with this sauce.

  10. Very interesting but simple too. Love pork in the fall. Thank you!

  11. Deb says:

    Love the pictures. I think this might work well with some varieties of gluten-free pasta. I’ve had success with the pastas that are of an even thickness. I’m gluten-intolerant and always looking for adaptable recipes. This one looks delightful!

  12. CallitSupper says:

    This looks amazing. And great photos!

  13. Feast Wisely says:

    This looks delicious. I love combining pork with pasta.

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